Zion National Park [Guide, Maps, Itineraries & More] (2024)

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Zion National Park [Guide, Maps, Itineraries & More] (1)
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A thousand-foot deep red rock canyonnested in dramatic surroundings. Whether you are trying to catch your breath while climbing the trail to Observation Point or watching the shadows constantly change the mood of the Court of the Patriarchs, Zion National Park is always ready to quench your appetite for outdoor wonder.

Learn more about these hikes and all the other adventures you can havein Zion National Park, and be sure to check the shuttle schedule for free transportation to and throughout the park.

How to Visit Zion Winter in Zion

Discover the Zion Region

Things to Do

  • Backpacking Find your way out of the crowds into the park’s tranquil backcountry. Explore Zion’s backpacking camp areas, hiking trails, and preparation resources.
  • Camping End your day under Zion’s internationally certified dark skies at any campgrounds within or near the park. Dispersed, developed and RV campgrounds are all available, but make your reservation early; campgrounds fill quickly during peak travel months.
  • Canyoneering Are you looking to add some adrenaline to your vacation? Explore Zion’s most popular canyoneering routes. Be sure to get the details about permits and local guide services beforehand.
  • Hiking Zion is famous for its remarkable hiking trails. Take an adventurous scramble up to Angels Landing or a family hike on the Emerald Pools Trails, among others. Learn more about hiking in Zion.
  • Horseback Riding

    Trot through pine forests and red rock views during a horseback riding tour through the park. Local guides offer rides for every experience level, and are available year-round in certain park regions.

  • Winter Activities With more than 300 days of sunshine a year, Zion National Park is a great place to enjoy sunny skies, fresh air and get a little extra Vitamin D in the winter months. Plan a winter visit to soak up the sunshine while enjoying moderate temperatures and a stunning sandstone kaleidoscope of reds, oranges and pinks. Winter visitors will find plenty to do, including hiking, photography and gazing up at the wonders of the night sky.

Hotels and Lodging

Numerous lodging options, from hotels to bed and breakfasts, are available in the park and nearby Springdale, East Zion and St. George, Utah. Visitors may also opt for overnight accommodations in or near the less-trafficked parts of Zion: Cedar City and Kanab.

Where to Stay near Zion


South Campground and Watchman Campground are the nearest to Zion’s primary entrance on scenic S.R. 9, just outside of Springdale. The Lava Point Campground is further north, about an hour outside of Zion Canyon on Kolob Terrace Road. If the park’s campgrounds are full, or you’re looking for something a little more secluded, there are several campgrounds to choose from just outside the park.

Explore Camping at Zion

More Zion Inspiration

  • How to Visit Zion Looking for the best way to see Zion? Read our Zion National Park guide for expert advice on planning your visit to one of the most visited parks in Utah.
  • Things to Do in Zion National Park No matter the season, there are many things to do in Zion for all levels of thrill-seekers and nature lovers: hiking, camping, canyoneering, scenic driving and more.
  • Zion National Park Hikes Visiting Zion National Park? Here are the best hikes in Zion for all hikers, from family-friendly trails to multi-day backpacking trips.
  • Zion Where to Stay Looking for places to stay near Zion National Park? Check out our guide to vacation lodging at this magnificent park and book your stay today!

Nearby Basecamps

  • Springdale Springdale, UT As the gateway to Zion National Park and nestled along the North Fork of the Virgin River, Springdale is an ideal place to get outfitted for adventure not only in Zion, but to numerous other parks, monuments, and recreation areas of the western Colorado Plateau and desert southwest.
  • East Zion Welcome to the east side of Utah's Zion National Park. Visitors who stay on this side of the park enjoy what is often referred to as the quiet side of the park, and they also have much closer access to other destinations such as Bryce Canyon National Park, Cedar Breaks National Monument, the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument and even the North Rim of the Grand Canyon.
  • St. George St. George, UT St. George is perfect for family adventures, luxury spas, extensive shopping, championship golf and nearby outdoor recreation assets.
  • Cedar City Cedar City, UT There areplenty of things to experience in Cedar City, Utah thanks to nearby ski resorts, a national forest, great national parks and a superb arts scene.
  • Kanab Kanab, UT Kanab, Utah is classic American West, surrounded by towering Navajo sandstone cliffs and vistas of sagebrush. Kanab's self-proclaimed title, "Little Hollywood," is fitting for its many abandoned film sets.

Travel Tips

  • For the best experience, arrive early and take the Zion National Park shuttle.

  • Always hike respectfully and carry extra water and sun protection.

  • There are popular hikes at Angels Landing(permit required) and The Narrows, but serious hikers may consider Hidden Canyon, Observation Point, and guided canyoneering in lesser-known canyons.

  • Zion–Mt. Carmel Highway's distinctive red asphalt leads through a narrow 1.1-mile tunnel to lesser-known hikes near the East Entrance. Fee for large RVs, with limits.

  • Follow @zionnps on Instagram and Facebook and visit nps.gov/zion for park alerts.

  • Read these resources to learn how to travel thoughtfully and experience Zion National Park most fully.

  • View a downloadable map of Zion National Park
More travel tips for visiting Zion National Park


Visitors from May to October will encounter highs in Zion from 90-100+°F. Escape the heat by entering the river or stopping in the visitor center or museum. Afternoon thunderstorms occasionally drench the canyon — which can lead to flash floods in the narrowest sections of the canyon. Expect somewhat cooler temperatures (sometimes up to 30 degrees difference) early in the morning and late in the evening, as well as in early spring and late fall. Though winter days can be cold, the park is open, serene and beautiful.

See All Itineraries

Zion National Park [Guide, Maps, Itineraries & More] (11)


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Butch Cassidy's West

For movie buffs, this scenic tour of the state of Utah comes alive with nostalgia for Robert Redford’s iconic film, “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid," and some of Butch Cassidy's real-life haunts.

Film Tourism, Ghost Towns, History and Heritage, Scenic Drives/Road Trips


  • Capitol Reef National Park
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Zion National Park [Guide, Maps, Itineraries & More] (12)


10 Days

The Mighty 5: Ultimate Journey

Grab a national parks annual pass for best access to The Mighty 5®.

Hiking, Scenic Drives/Road Trips


  • Arches National Park
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  • Capitol Reef National Park
  • Zion National Park

See Itinerary

Zion National Park [Guide, Maps, Itineraries & More] (2024)


What is the best route through Zion National Park? ›

The two major scenic drives in the park: Zion Canyon and Zion-Mount Carmel Highway, both offer amazing views of the beautiful and characteristic rock formations you come to Zion for in the first place.

How many days do you need to explore Zion National Park? ›

Ideally, you need two to three days to really explore Zion National Park. This will give you enough time to hike one of the longer trails such as Angels Landing or the Narrows and enjoy all the major viewpoints.

Do you need a tour guide for Zion? ›

A guided tour of Zion National Park is the best way to make the most of your time. You'll not only get to hit the highlights of Zion, but you'll learn all about the park's history, geology, and ecology from your knowledgeable guide who's experienced almost every inch of the park.

What is the best way to tour Zion? ›

Go early to get parking at the Visitor Center and avoid long shuttle lines. Walk the Pa'Rus Trail and follow the paths leading down to the river. Go into the park later in the day, up to 2-3 hours before sunset but don't miss the last shuttle out. Hike along Clear Creek in East Zion.

How long does it take to drive the scenic drive in Zion National Park? ›

How long is the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive? Zion Canyon Scenic Drive is approximately 7 miles long. The up-canyon shuttle routes takes about 45 minutes to reach the last stop, Temple of Sinawava. The entire round-trip ride takes about an hour and a half.

What to combine with Zion National Park? ›

However, if it's your first visit, try to spend at least two or three nights and venture to both Zion Canyon and Kolob Canyons. For the perfect road trip, combine a trip to Zion with these other national parks: Arches, Canyonlands, Bryce Canyon, Capitol Reef, and the north rim of the Grand Canyon.

What month is good to visit Zion National Park? ›

Zion National Park is open year-round, but about 70 percent of visitors come between April and September. If you have the flexibility, making the trip during the park's off-peak months of October through March means less crowded hiking trails and fewer view-blocking selfie sticks.

Should I spend more time in Zion or Bryce? ›

You'll get to experience plenty of different things in Zion National Park. We wouldn't really recommend spending more than two days in Bryce Canyon, but you could easily be in Zion for a week. Zion is also more developed than any of the other parks in Utah.

How far apart are Zion and Bryce? ›

Majestic Neighbors. First off, it's very possible to visit Bryce Canyon and Zion in the same trip, even the same day! The distance from Zion to Bryce Canyon is 72.4 miles (116.5 kilometers), or, a 1 hour and 20 minute drive and it's a beautiful drive! Both Parks are found in the picturesque landscape of Southern Utah.

Which entrance to Zion is best? ›

The drive into Zion Canyon (the main part of the park) from I-15 on the park's western side, following Utah 9 or Utah 17, and then Utah 9 to the south entrance at Springdale, is by far the more popular, with two-thirds of park visitors arriving there.

Can you walk in Zion instead of shuttle? ›

Zion Hikes From the Visitor Center

While the Watchman Trail has you winding through the canyons to the final panoramic viewpoint of lower Zion Canyon and the town of Springdale. Since these trails are not along the Scenic Drive, you don't need to take the Zion shuttle to hike the Pa'rus Trail or Watchman Trail.

Is the Zion shuttle mandatory? ›

During the busiest months, this shuttle service enables us to protect the park for generations to come. All visitors are required to use the shuttle to travel around the park, including along the six-mile Zion Canyon Scenic drive.

Is the Zion shuttle worth it? ›

What a pleasant way to tour the Zion Canyon without having to fool with vehicle traffic. I suggest taking the shuttle all the way the initial time and use that first trip to plan what you want to see and what trails you may want to travel. It is wonderful to hop on and off at different locations.

Is it better to stay inside or outside Zion National Park? ›

Because Zion is a relatively small national park, it's easy to stay close to the park without actually being in the park. I recommend staying outside of Zion if you want nicer amenities, more variety in pricing, or more dining and activity options.

How long is the shuttle ride into Zion? ›

Shuttles take about 45 minutes to drive between the Zion Canyon Visitor Center and the Temple of Sinawava. This means a round trip takes about an hour and a half.

Which entrance is best for Zion National Park? ›

The drive into Zion Canyon (the main part of the park) from I-15 on the park's western side, following Utah 9 or Utah 17, and then Utah 9 to the south entrance at Springdale, is by far the more popular, with two-thirds of park visitors arriving there.

Can you drive through Zion National Park in your own car? ›

Directions. Zion National Park's main, south entrance and administrative offices are located near Springdale, Utah You may drive yourself on all open park roads except the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive. During most of the year, the Scenic Drive is accessed by shuttle bus only. Shuttles are free to ride.

Is Zion Scenic Drive worth it? ›

Zion is a beautiful park, but it was not our favorite. If you are in the area it's definitely worth visiting, but Bryce Canyon National Park and Capital Reef were even more profound experiences for us. Bryce Canyon is unlike anything that we had ever experienced before.

What is the most popular trail in Zion? ›

2. ANGEL'S LANDING. Angel's Landing is the most iconic trail in Zion National Park. The trail begins at shuttle stop #6, The Grotto.

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